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Jamie L. Goldenberg, Tomi-Ann Roberts, Kasey Lynn Morris & Douglas P. Cooper

In: The SAGE Handbook of Gender and Psychology

Chapter 24: Monstrously Mortal: Women’s Bodies,Existential Threat, and Women’s Health Risks

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Monstrously Mortal: Women’s Bodies,Existential Threat, and Women’s Health Risks
Monstrously Mortal: Women’s Bodies, Existential Threat, and Women’sHealth Risks
Jamie L. GoldenbergTomi-Ann RobertsKasey Lynn MorrisDouglas P. Cooper
Introduction

From an existential perspective, and terror management theory in particular, fear of death, andthe need to manage that fear, is a central force guiding much of human behavior. We use this as astarting place for our chapter, and explain how this perspective can inform both the condemnationand objectification of women’s bodies – both by others and women themselves –and consequent risks to women’s physical health. In particular, our framework sheds light onthe avoidance of certain health behaviors that involve intimate confrontations with the physicalbody (e.g., breast exams and mammography) and also engagement in health risk behaviors aimed atattaining a culturally ...

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